France: Judges make €30,000 award to financial analyst after double prosecution, double conviction rights breach

A French financial analyst suffered a breach of his human rights after he faced a double prosecution and double conviction on the same market manipulation charges.

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case of Nodet v. France (application no. 47342/14) the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

a violation of Article 4 of Protocol No. 7 (right not to be tried or punished twice) of the European Convention on Human Rights.

As Just satisfaction (Article 41), the court held that France was to pay the applicant 10,000 euros (EUR) in respect of non-pecuniary damage and EUR 20,000 in respect of costs and expenses.

The case concerned the right not to be tried or punished twice (ne bis in idem). The applicant, Antoine Nodet, a financial analyst, was fined by the financial markets regulator, the AMF, for manipulation of a share price, and subsequently by criminal courts for the offence of obstructing the proper operation of the stock market by the same action.

He complained that he had been punished twice for the same offence.

The court observed, first, that there was no sufficiently close connection in substance between the two sets of proceedings, of the AMF and of the criminal courts, in view of the purposes pursued and given, to some extent, the repetition in the gathering of evidence by various investigators; secondly, and above all, there was no sufficiently close connection in time for the proceedings to be considered part of an integrated mechanism of sanctions prescribed by French law.

It concluded that Nodet had sustained disproportionate damage on account of his double prosecution and the double conviction, by the AMF and the criminal courts, for the same facts.

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